Regional Collaboration, Advocacy Bring Regional Benefits
By MIKE NEAL
President and CEO, Tulsa Regional Chambe
STATEWIDE VOICE: Regional Chamber members and city officials attended the 2013 OneVoice Legislative Agenda, Jan. 31. A total of 61 Chambers, municipalities and organizations added their name to the OneVoice agenda this year, enhancing the scope of support for the program recognized at the state’s Capitol to be the voice of the Tulsa region.
Courtesy Tulsa Regional Chamber
Since 2007, the Tulsa Regional Chamber has led a community-wide effort to advocate for the Tulsa metro at our state’s capitol with one unified voice. This advocacy tool, the OneVoice agenda, has grown exponentially since its first year, and legislators have grown to view the OneVoice agenda as the go-to reference when considering the region’s priority issues.
This collaborative approach would not be successful without our regional partners, a record number of whom signed on to the OneVoice agenda last month, endorsing the list of 10 state and 10 federal issues that were identified as top priorities in 2013. A total of 61 Chambers, municipalities and organizations added their name to the OneVoice agenda this year, enhancing the scope of support for the agenda recognized at the state’s Capitol to be the voice of the Tulsa region.
We can be confident that the OneVoice agenda is a good representation of what the greater Tulsa regional community wants because of the time spent by volunteers and leadership gathering public input, vetting top issues and considering feedback.
More than 200 individuals representing various industries and areas throughout the Tulsa region participated in taskforces focused on an array of issues to create a comprehensive list of key issues. This list was then considered by more than 350 individuals at the annual OneVoice Legislative Summit, where attendees voted and eventually decided which issues would make the agenda.
Such comprehensive regional collaboration is one of my favorite things about Tulsa, and one of the things that makes me the most proud of our region. It shows we are all dedicated to the prosperity of our community. With continued growth in participation from individuals, businesses and organizations, we can only expect to see growth in our successes.
I encourage Tulsans to find ways to participate in these efforts. Join a OneVoice taskforce, attend a Chamber advocacy training session or simply sign up to receive the Legislative Update, an information email sent weekly during the session to highlight priority issues and create awareness when phone calls or emails to legislators are needed.
This year, a number of the OneVoice legislative priorities are items that will have a huge impact on each and every Tulsans everyday life. This agenda is not strictly business focused, but includes priorities for other divisions of the Tulsa Regional Chamber you may not be as familiar with. Issues like Medicaid expansion, workers’ compensation reform and education funding are all items that will have a large impact on our community.
If you’re interested in learning more about the Chamber’s advocacy efforts or getting more involved, go to TulsaChamber.com. Click the events tab to find an upcoming legislative event to attend. Head to the newsroom section to read our latest newsletters. Or, follow us on Facebook and Twitter at Facebook.com/TulsaChamber or @TulsaChamber.
With your support, I know we can make an even bigger impact on our region and state.